Chess Team Beats Belgrade in Trans-Atlantic Rematch

Nov. 3, 2008

UT Dallas chess players stomped the competition Friday when they triumphed over the international powerhouse team from the University of Belgrade during the third annual Trans-Atlantic Cup competition.

UT Dallas competitors made their moves from laptop computers connected to the Internet. 

It was the team’s second consecutive win in the competition. The final score was 12.5-3.5 — 11 wins, two losses and three draws.

“On paper, this year’s contest looked very promising,” noted Jim Stallings, director of the UT Dallas chess program.  “At 2360, our team’s average chess rating is higher than it’s ever been, and Belgrade’s rating is down, below 2300.  But that was all on paper, and each individual game still had to be played.”

During the match — which consisted of 16 individual games played simultaneously —  UT Dallas competitors made their moves from laptop computers connected to the Internet.  A large video screen helped spectators follow some of the action from select games.

The Comet cheerleaders — along with notable figures from the chess world and Texas House Rep. Jerry Madden, who made the ceremonial first move — got the match off to a rousing start in the School of Management’s Davidson Auditorium.

As was the case in the 2006 and 2007 matches, UT Dallas built up an early lead with four consecutive wins followed by two draws.  The score stood at 5-1.

“At that point we weren’t totally confident of a win since the same thing happened in 2006, and we went on to lose,” Stallings said.  “And yet, the wins kept coming in.  The last game to report was on Board 1, where our team captain, GM Alejandro Ramirez, won with the black pieces.”

When all the clicks had stopped, Ramirez held the Trans-Atlantic Cup high in the air as the UT Dallas chess team was proclaimed the winner.

The University of Belgrade is Europe’s best college chess team, and UT Dallas is the top-ranked U.S. team.


Media Contact: Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, jennib@utdallas.edu
or the Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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UT Dallas drew some high-profile support from (top) State Rep. Jerry Madden, who made the ceremonial first move; (at right) Temoc; and (below) the Comet Cheerleaders, shown with chess team coach Rade Milovanovic.

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